An anti-pipeline protest was held in Prince Rupert on Jan. 8, 2019, coordinated with protests happening across the country in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation people opposing the Coastal GasLink pipeline. (Matthew Allen/The Northern View)

B.C. court to mull continuing order against Coastal Gaslink pipeline opponents

Coastal GasLink was granted an interim injunction in December following arrests and protests

Coastal GasLink and opponents of the company’s natural gas pipeline are set to make arguments in B.C. Supreme Court over whether an interim injunction should continue.

The natural gas company is building a pipeline from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat on the coast.

Coastal GasLink says it has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometres route but hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation say the project has no authority without their consent.

The court granted the company an interim injunction in December against pipeline opponents and protests erupted around the world when RCMP enforced it in January, arresting 14 people along a logging road leading to the construction site near Houston.

READ MORE: RCMP enforce Coastal GasLink pipeline injunction

An injunction hearing is scheduled for three days beginning Wednesday in a Prince George court and Coastal GasLink says the application would allow the directive to remain in place without a time limit, ensuring “continued safe and unimpeded access” to the site.

Court documents filed on behalf of the opponents say the Wet’suwet’en have self-governed since before colonization and while the defendants admit to preventing access to certain vehicles and people in the traditional territory, they did so in accordance with Wet’suwet’en law.

Opponents built gates along the forest service road and a bridge, as well as accommodations and facilities, but deny that they were built for the purpose of creating a “blockade,” says a response to the civil claim filed this week with the court.

Wet’suwet’en law dictates that access can only be granted with permission from the relevant clan’s hereditary chief, it says.

“Coastal GasLink’s wilful disregard for Wet’suwet’en law and governance has led to their employees and contractors being denied entry,” it says.

The company says in a statement that its project will deliver significant, long-term benefits for Indigenous and northern B.C. communities along its path and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by providing natural gas to replace coal burning in Asian markets.

“We are committed to continuing to work collaboratively with all communities and have a shared interest in ensuring the safety of people, protection of the environment, and the continued progress of this critical infrastructure project,” Coastal GasLink says.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ramona Wilson Memorial Walk: Twenty-five years, but still no closure

“What we’re standing for today is that nobody is going to sweep this under the rug, nobody.”

Muheim class repeats 2017 award for interaction with seniors

Liliana Pesce’s Grade 4-5 class honoured by BC Retired Teachers Association

Bulkley Valley U14 boys soccer squad wins zones

The Rapids will now proceed to provincial championship in Prince George July 4-5

Donaldson announces seal coating for portions of Hwy 16, Kispiox

Two sections of road in the Bulkley Valley have had their fate sealed.

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read